Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow-covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across the wilderness.
After their flight is canceled due to stormy weather, neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Bass and photojournalist Alex Martin hire private pilot Walter to get them to Denver for connecting flights to Alex's wedding in New York and Ben's emergency surgery appointment in Baltimore. Walter, who has not filed a flight plan, suffers a fatal stroke mid-flight, and the plane crashes on a mountaintop in the High Uintas Wilderness. Ben, Alex, and Walter's dog survive the crash with various injuries..
Elba, Winslet (and a dog) in snow. What could go wrong?
A classic boy (Idris Elba) meets girl (Kate Winslet) story, only this time it begins with the plane crashing into mountains, and they have to make their way down without, you know, freezing or starving to death.
I haven't read the original novel by Charles Martin, but the movie starts as simple but inventive mix of classic story types such as boy meets girl and survival, with even some light but good verbal humor thrown in.
The makers don't want to expose the general direction early on, so for most of the time we concentrate on survivors overcoming the harsh conditions.
Sadly, there's not much variety to sloshing in the snow and shivering near the campfires, so it gives one time to begin to notice how the storytelling tends to stay on the lazy / shallow side.
For example, some of the basic points of survival stories are not adequately explained - how the duo always have strength to find and carry food, or how they manage to keep the dog alive and healthy who survived the crash too.
The dog just disappears and is re-insertedwhere convenient. There's even scene which hints they had to climb down a steep cliff but never have equipment to take the animal with them. Or even take care of themselves, for the matter.
Anyway, all these niggles don't quite break the suspense but don't exactly help to uphold it either.
And it wouldn't be a problem at all if the story would not be so mainstream (the two's backgrounds and relationships would benefit from some depth)
The makers even go as far as adding some true Hollywood style flashbacks which don't fit at all. Not to mention that these lay bare the general direction that they story has tried to hide the whole time.
Luckily, it's mostly about Elba and Winslet who don't disappoint, giving solid if workmanlike performances to bring the material alive.
They quietly and confidently carry the experience, so if you are OK paying to see two top thespians doing their thang, then "The Mountain Between Us" is good enough watch.
There's almost no other human characters - the only notable supporting roles are by Beau Bridges and Dermot Mulroney.
All in all, "Mountain" is watchable but too professional rather than passionate project from all involved, thus not eliciting true commitment from the viewer either.
There are moments of authenticity, and moments that might make you care for a moment... but there's not enough to make it stick in memory.
I'd like to finally see a movie that's entirely worth Elba's talent and charisma, as HBO's unforgettable "The Wired" managed in TV world more than 10 years ago already.
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